05/04/2014 8:48PM

Miami Valley: Shebestingin, Maven set track records

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Shebestingin is now perfect in a pair of 2014 starts.

The top ladies in the sport were on display on Sunday night at Miami Valley for a pair of Grand Circuit stakes and the favorites on both gaits did not disappoint. Shebestingin led off with a sparkling 1:50 4/5 all-age track record mile and Maven equaled the record feat setting a trotting mark of 1:53 3/5.

There were some anxious moments before the start of the $50,300 Sam “Chip” Noble Memorial as the always precocious Shebestingin caused a recall when she refused to go to the gate. When the starting car began to roll the second time, driver David Miller was able to get Shebestingin to behave and settled her in fifth while the early lead was exchanged multiple times.

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She’s Shocking took charge but gave up the top to a quarter move by Camille past the 27-second opening panel. Next to the front was Yagonnakissmeornot, who rushed to the front approaching the three-eighths and assumed command with little resistance. Almost at the same point in the mile, Shebestingin edged off the cones to begin her bid.

Yagonnakissmeornot led the way as the 3/5 favorite past the half in 55 3/5 and took on heavy pressure from Shebestingin by the 1:23 2/5 third quarter marker. The two would battle off the turn and into the stretch before Shebestingin began to pull away in the final sixteenth of the mile.

Jerseylicious came from third over to finish out the top three.

“It was a little nerve-wracking as usual with her, but she’s a great horse,” said trainer Joe Holloway, referring to Shebestingin’s hijinks prior to the start of the race.

The victory was the second on the year in two starts for Shebestingin, a daughter of Bettor’s Delight-Armbro Tussle. She pushed her career earnings to $716,602 for owners Val D’Or Farms, Theodore Gewertz and L&L Devisser.

Shebestingin, who was the heavy favorite for much of the betting, drifted up to pay a healthy $5.00, perhaps due to her pre-race antics.

Maven left away from the gate in the $60,000 Miami Valley Distaff, but she had to bide her time as three mares to her inside also had their sights set on making the top. After the dust cleared through the 27-second opening quarter, Maven and driver Yannick Gingras passed early leader Rockin With Dewey and never looked back.

Maven got away with a soft middle half of 59 seconds while facing some light pressure and sprinted away in the stretch with a 27 3/5 final kicker. Rockin With Dewey held second and D’Orsay avoided a breaker in the stretch to take third.

“I was a little afraid when she got hung on the outside through the opening quarter,” said trainer Jonas Czernyson. “But Yannick said she was strong to the wire and he never pulled the plugs.”

Making her first start of the year, Maven added $30,000 to her lifetime earnings of $1,423,969. Czernyson was still unsure whether the 5-year-old, who is owned by William Donovan, will use this race as her prep for the Elitlopp in Sweden on May 25 or race one more time on the east coast.

Maven paid $2.40 to win for her backers.

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